The Story of Doctor Dolittle: Being the History of His Peculiar Life at Home and Astonishing Adventures in Foreign Parts Never Before Printed

The Story of Doctor Dolittle: Being the History of His Peculiar Life at Home and Astonishing Adventures in Foreign Parts Never Before Printed by Hugh Lofting Read Free Book Online

Book: The Story of Doctor Dolittle: Being the History of His Peculiar Life at Home and Astonishing Adventures in Foreign Parts Never Before Printed by Hugh Lofting Read Free Book Online
Authors: Hugh Lofting
and they guessed that
he was in there.
    So they all joined hands and made a great
circle round the high grass. The pushmi-
pullyu heard them coming; and he tried hard
to break through the ring of monkeys. But he
couldn't do it. When he saw that it was no
use trying to escape, he sat down and waited to
see what they wanted.
    They asked him if he would go with Doctor Dolittle
and be put on show in the Land of the White Men.
    But he shook both his heads hard and said,
"Certainly not!"
    They explained to him that he would not be
shut up in a menagerie but would just be looked
at. They told him that the Doctor was a very
kind man but hadn't any money; and people
would pay to see a two-headed animal and the
Doctor would get rich and could pay for the
boat he had borrowed to come to Africa in.
    But he answered, "No. You know how shy
I am—I hate being stared at." And he almost
began to cry.
    Then for three days they tried to persuade
him.
    And at the end of the third day he said he
would come with them and see what kind of a
man the Doctor was, first.
    So the monkeys traveled back with the
pushmi-pullyu. And when they came to where
the Doctor's little house of grass was, they
knocked on the door.
    The duck, who was packing the trunk, said,
"Come in!"
    And Chee-Chee very proudly took the animal
inside and showed him to the Doctor.
    "What in the world is it?" asked John
Dolittle, gazing at the strange creature.
    "Lord save us!" cried the duck. "How does
it make up its mind?"
    "It doesn't look to me as though it had any,"
said Jip, the dog.
    "This, Doctor," said Chee-Chee, "is the
pushmi-pullyu—the rarest animal of the African
jungles, the only two-headed beast in the
world! Take him home with you and your
fortune's made. People will pay any money to
see him."
    "But I don't want any money," said the Doctor.
    "Yes, you do," said Dab-Dab, the duck.
"Don't you remember how we had to pinch
and scrape to pay the butcher's bill in
Puddleby? And how are you going to get the
sailor the new boat you spoke of—unless we
have the money to buy it?"
    "I was going to make him one," said the Doctor.
    "Oh, do be sensible!" cried Dab-Dab.
"Where would you get all the wood and the
nails to make one with?—And besides, what are
we going to live on? We shall be poorer than
ever when we get back. Chee-Chee's perfectly
right: take the funny-looking thing along, do!"
    "Well, perhaps there is something in what you say,"
murmured the Doctor. "It certainly would make
a nice new kind of pet. But does the er—
what-do-you-call-it really want to go abroad?"
    "Yes, I'll go," said the pushmi-pullyu who
saw at once, from the Doctor's face, that he was
a man to be trusted. "You have been so kind
to the animals here—and the monkeys tell me
that I am the only one who will do. But you
must promise me that if I do not like it in the
Land of the White Men you will send me
back."
    "Why, certainly—of course, of course," said
the Doctor. "Excuse me, surely you are
related to the Deer Family, are you not?"
    "Yes," said the pushmi-pullyu—"to the
Abyssinian Gazelles and the Asiatic Chamois
—on my mother's side. My father's great-
grandfather was the last of the Unicorns."
    "Most interesting!" murmured the Doctor;
and he took a book out of the trunk which Dab-
Dab was packing and began turning the pages.
"Let us see if Buffon says anything—"
    "I notice," said the duck, "that you only talk
with one of your mouths. Can't the other head
talk as well?"
    "Oh, yes," said the pushmi-pullyu. "But I
keep the other mouth for eating—mostly. In
that way I can talk while I am eating without
being rude. Our people have always been very
polite."
    When the packing was finished and everything
was ready to start, the monkeys gave a
grand party for the Doctor, and all the animals
of the jungle came. And they had pineapples
and mangoes and honey and all sorts of good
things to eat and drink.
    After they had all finished eating, the Doctor
got up and said,
    "My friends: I am not

Similar Books

Ain't No Wifey

Jahquel J.

King's Man

Tim Severin

Belly of the Beast

Blake Crouch, Douglas Walker

The Sand Men

Christopher Fowler

Enamored To A Fool

Jackie Nacht

A Family To Cherish

Carole Gift Page

Loving Lord Ash

Sally Mackenzie